The LDV Friday Five: 26 November 2010

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

1. Fifteen new Liberal Democrat Peers appointed (76 comments) by Helen Duffett
2. Six Rochdale Lib Dem councillors resign over leadership (34 comments) by Helen Duffett
3. Nick Clegg: we are the new progressives (50 comments) by Mark Pack
4. Welcome news as party changes tack on coalition (79 comments) by Mark Pack
5. Vince: there has been no betrayal (45 comments) by Newshound

5 sample LDV Members’ Forum threads

Smoking ban
Starting with Nothing
Becoming a candidate
Net Neutrality
Kickstart 2011 – what’s it all about

Five most active local constituencies with online petitions

1. North East Fife
2. Dundee East
3. Dundee West
4. Angus
5. Islington North

5 top reader search returns to get to LDV

(excluding Liberal Democrat Voice or its variants)
1. new lib dem peers
2. the importance of teaching white paper
3. monroe palmer
4. public bodies bill
5. 22 days in may

5 recent Lib Dem tweets

>> @billiwilliams Productive day that. Even started packing for weekend training gig – @ALDC‘s Kickstart. The sparkly kitten heels will be making their debut!
>> @chriswiggin Glad to see @AaronPorter finally acknowledge that “it remains Liberal Democrat policy to abolish tuition fees”
>> @stealthmunchkin I’m not even *watching* #bbcqt and I’m excited by Paddy’s performance. Can we have him on every week?
>> @petehannon Wonder how many people will pick up on the fact that Bishop of Willesden is an ex Labour Councillor.
>> @miss_s_b First episode of podcast is up, slightly delayed. Check it out!

If you are a Lib Dem who tweets, and would like to be added to Ryan’s Lib Dem Tweets aggregator, drop him an email at [email protected]

That’s it from the LDV Friday Five. Let the weekend commence in 5-4-3-2-1…

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  • Matt, the private members forum has never been so busy. Perhaps members prefer reasoned debate.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Nov '10 - 9:09pm

    It’s certainly surprising that there’s been no comment on Clegg’s statement this afternoon that Lib Dem ministers may abstain in the vote on university fees:

  • Anthony Aloysius St 26th Nov '10 - 9:17pm

    William Cullerne Bown sees this as an indication that Clegg has failed to exert his authority on the party, and instead “could be accused of being a prisoner of party activists.” Bown evidently thinks there’s a possibility that the reforms will fail:

  • Anthony Aloysius St 27th Nov '10 - 9:05am

    “I think Nick Clegg will end up leading his party to all Abstain on the Tuition fee’s vote.
    Unfortunately 57 Liberal Democrat MP’s Abstaining, means Conservatives only need to get a majority of 269, and with 306 Conservative MP’s they will walk it.”

    I think the indications are that it will be more difficult than that for the government.

    First, I assume 269 in your comment is a typo for 296.

    Second, 3 Tory MPs signed the pledge. I don’t know what they are going to do, but I’ve seen a press report suggesting that at least one will vote “no”. So the Tories might be 2 or 3 votes down (or effectively 6 votes down if they all voted “no,” but I suppose that’s unlikely).

    Third, while Clegg may _try_ to make a deal with the parliamentary party based on abstention, that might actually worsen his situation, because it would mean (I presume) that no Lib Dems would vote “yes.” In those circumstances the Tories could be defeated if about 20 Lib Dems voted “no.”

    According to this website
    13 have (recently!) said they would vote “no.” But 34 more are undeclared, and have evidently been waiting to hear the outcome of negotiations. So what it boils down to is this. Have they been waiting to decide whether to vote in favour (if whipped to do so) or abstain? Or have they been waiting to decide whether to vote “no” unless the proposals are modified to make them more acceptable?

  • Anthony Aloysius St 27th Nov '10 - 10:41am


    Think of it as needing more than half of those who vote. So if 57 didn’t vote, you would need half of 650-57.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 27th Nov '10 - 5:17pm

    The Telegraph has a story about the various woes of Nick Clegg – anger vented by Lib Dem MPs at the meeting of the parliamentary party, Clegg feeling let down because Cable hasn’t offered him enough support, civil servants complaining that Clegg’s office is dysfunctional, “with a leader struggling to define and implement his agenda,” Danny Alexander to take a more active role in “coalition management,” “trying to bolster his ailing leader,” and talk of the return of David Laws also indicating an admission that Clegg “needs more support.”

    I’m starting to wonder whether the man’s going for the sympathy vote.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 28th Nov '10 - 12:18pm

    “YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%.

    Nick Clegg’s approval rating plummets to minus 22, down from minus 13 a week ago and by far his lowest ever score as leader.”

    Interestingly, the approval ratings of all three main party leaders have dropped, though Winston Clegg’s is by far the lowest.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 28th Nov '10 - 3:05pm

    David Willetts sticks his oar in:
    “Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable is “personally committed” to plans to raise university tuition fees, a Tory colleague has said.
    Higher education minister David Willetts said he was “confident” Mr Cable would back the measure in a Commons vote next month.”

    So a minister thinks his departmental head will vote for the department’s proposals. Really, this would be hilarious if it weren’t so tragic.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 29th Nov '10 - 8:43am

    It really is astonishing that LDV is ignoring the dramatic developments surrounding this issue in the last few days – particularly as it has posted about a dozen different articles about it in the past, all saying essentially the same thing. So I don’t suppose anyone is even reading this, but –

    The BBC reports that more than 100 unsuccessful Lib Dem candidates have called on Nick Clegg to oppose the rise in fees. They say:
    “During the general election campaign many of our MPs (and now government ministers) signed a pledge with the National Union of Students that they would vote against any tuition fee rises during the course of the next Parliament.
    “The wording of this pledge clearly indicated that this would be unconditional; regardless of whether the party was in government or in opposition.
    “The party has been very clear for many years about its view on tuition fees and that we feel they should be abolished.”

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